Out of Town
(Get your Juice to go - download the Juice.ph Mobile App for iPhone and Android now.)
It really comes down to a simple "hello". When I first got back a weird thing happened to me. I kinda felt the insecurity of a foreigner. I wasn't sure how to address the airport personnel to ask where the bathrooms were and I kept throwing Tagalog terms into conversations like "eh kasi" and "daw". One of the most fundamental insecurities for a person is language because it's the most important tool we have for direct interpersonal communication. We don't want the other to think were vulnerable by not having a firm grasp on the language. At one point I stumbled over a figure of speech while talking to another surfer in Malibu. Instead of saying "We're all having fun just the same" I fumbled through it and said "We're all just the same having fun" which is really not saying what I wanted to say. I'm in the re-familiarization process and I'm almost comfortable now but I've realized that it's this insecurity with basic language that has made me super sensitive to language interaction.
Each place I've visited has an overall community personality that gives it a ranking on the friendly factor. Huntington Beach for example is super snobby, people don't pay any attention to other people for the most part and no one ever said hello to me there out of the blue. I grew up surfing in HB and it's only now that I'm coming to this realization. This is surf city where things are moving fast and people do their own thing. It's like the beach version of Hollywood. It's a nice place to go because it's an industry monster but NO ONE SAYS HELLO to anyone and I think that sucks. It's evident too in the water when you're surfing. People are pretty rude there.
Meanwhile, Lucadia, a small town in North County San Diego has a friendly factor that's absolutely off the charts! To be quite honest, I wasn't prepared for it. When I first got there I was quiet and just observing people. 95% percent of people I came into contact with physically there acknowledged me as they passed and not only said "Hello" but had an extended greeting like "Hello, how are you doing today?" or "Have a great day." It was quite refreshing and made me fall in love with the place.
I wish you could change this about people and about places. I wish Metro Manila was a place where everyone gave you an extended greeting. I think there are too many factors in play here though and people are tired and cautious and kinda fed up with a bunch of genuine things to be fed up with. No one really has the answer as to how to begin to make a place more friendly but as for me, I'm gonna make it a point to genuinely greet people more from now on wherever I am.
Juice Dining: Channel your inner foodie
Juice Shopping: What to buy and where to buy